The impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona is proving to be a case-in-point in these kinds of high-profile trials. But more than that, the performance of the prosecution and defense panels and the senator-judges are being digested by the watching public.
Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago has been in the spotlight for the past sessions of the trial – from her increasing blood pressure to her sharp remarks regarding some events and people associated with the impeachment trial. Recently a seeming verbal sword fight ensued (albeit indirectly) between her and the spiritual adviser of a former president. This was brought about by the senator-judge’s open berating of the prosecution team, tagging them as ‘fools’ with regards to their claims of evidence sufficiency worthy of the Chief Justice’s conviction. A berating which agitated the calm waters on the shores of the religious who almost condemned her to the eternal fires of ‘hell’.
We cannot blame Senator Santiago for reacting to the seeming relaxed stance of the prosecution team. We cannot also blame the religious for their seeming endurance in upholding their beliefs. But the impeachment trial is purely ‘legal’ in nature and any side comments made outside the walls of the session hall regarding the people involved there can be automatically relegated as immaterial. The fact that it came from the ranks of the religious, particularly from the Roman Catholic fold, makes it more it bothersome.
The separation of the State and the Church is already enshrined in our Constitution and it is still a wonder why this fact is out rightly ignored by so many people with ranks and titles. Senator Santiago’s berating can (or must) be understood in the context of the impeachment trial. She may not have deliberately done that to cause any strife. Perhaps those who continually make noises against the senator-judge are simply OAs (over acting) and/or KSPs (kulang sa pansin; lacking in attention).
The impeachment trial is highly technical already and perhaps those who make criticisms in the comfort of rostrums or pulpits would do well to respect the occupation, and indeed the profession, of those involved in the trials and let them do their work.
* Photo Credit: newsinfo.inquirer.net